The Great Divide by Ian Wishart


Best Seller position

No. 1 in view Books




New Zealand was catapulted kicking and screaming from the stone age to the space age within 200 years of Captain Cook setting foot here…and we’re still arguing about it.

Who really got to New Zealand first? Which version of the Treaty of Waitangi is the most accurate translation? Did the Treaty ever set up a “partnership” to rule the country? Why did Maori chiefs really sign it?


The Great Divide sheds significant new light on our history and the Treaty debate.


The Great Divide is the book that somebody had to write.” –Phil Hayward

“I can recommend it, I think it is a fascinating read and I think everybody should be reading it. We’ve all read Claudia Orange and the other books – this is an updated version.” – Doris Mousdale on Newstalk ZB. Listen to the review here.DorisonLeightonZB

“A page-turner that tells the story of pre-Maori history, of explorers who met a sudden death, of brave missionaries, musket wars, of the beginnings of British rule, the ins and outs of the treaty, land clashes, sovereignty wars, of the role of Christianity, and implications for today. His chatty, colloquial style could and should keep a wide range of readers on the edge of a chair…

“The chapter “Waitangi’s fairytale godfathers” shreds Waitangi Tribunal arguments… Those chiefs who opposed the unity of the races under one sovereign became the Maori king movement, and the focus of the so-called Maori renaissance in the 20th century, Wishart wrote. “Their followers, however, are the ones now in charge of the Waitangi debate, the cultural gatekeepers. They are the ones who can make the majority voices from the past fall silent – their words left out of the popular history books and not quoted in universities.”

So here we are in the 21st century still fighting the 19th century sovereignty war, this time using words instead of bullets. The book is a must-read.” Read the full review byjournalist Mike Butler here

The Great Divide by Ian Wishart – reviewed by Bruce Moon

“It had been my impression that Ian was a polemicist, an extremist, even a writer of scurrilous pamphlets. (This may demonstrate the efficiency of the Establishment’s knocking machine).

“However, when I opened The Great Divide I found it moderate in style, clear in expression and thorough in discussion.

“I noted with interest his references to Michael King’s hitherto lauded Penguin History of New Zealand. Wishart confronts King. Clearly we agree that King was a member of the ‘politically correct brigade’ (though Wishart does not say so in as many words.)

“Wishart…most importantly in my view, gives thorough attention to the Kohimarama Conference of 1860 which has been so notably discounted by Orange and Salmond. In Ian Wishart’s words, ‘What we see at Kohimarama…is an evolution of consent. After 20 years of partial integration, the chiefs not only ratified Waitangi in full but expressly called for a complete adoption of Pakeha tikanga’.

“…There can be simply no doubt that The Great Divide must find a place…on the bookshelves of every educated New Zealander. In short – read it.”